Before Your Exam:
What is an Ultrasound?
Ultrasound imaging, sometimes referred to as sonography is a noninvasive medical procedure used to capture images in real time. They show the structure and movement of organs and blood flowing through blood vessels.
Women and Ultrasound: Obstetric, Pelvic, Breast and Thyroid
Obstetric ultrasound is performed to assess your baby's heart beat and anatomy. These measurements can help determine the gestational age, size and growth of your baby. A complete ultrasound is typically performed when your pregnancy is at least 18 weeks. This exam is a comprehensive look at your baby's skeletal structure and organs.
Pelvic ultrasound is used to evaluate the ovaries, uterus, cervix and bladder. It can be ordered following pelvic pain, abdominal bleeding or menstrual concerns. It is used to help diagnose fibroids, cysts, or ovarian or uterine cancers.
Breast ultrasound is used to help diagnose breast abnormalities seen on mammography or felt during an examination. It is typically ordered following a mammogram or for a lump or focal pain.
Thyroid ultrasound is often performed for an enlarged thyroid, abnormal thyroid enzymes or for an abnormality seen on another imaging modality.
How do I prepare for the exam?
Most ultrasound exams do not require any preparation prior to the exam. Wear comfortable clothing around the area to be scanned. You may also be asked to wear a gown. For pelvic exams, please come to our office with a full bladder. Also inform your technologist if you have any old images so they may be used for comparison.
What happens during the test?
Our technologist will take a brief medical history. You will be asked to lie down on the scanning table. The ultrasound technician (sonographer) will place a clear gel on the area of the body to be imaged. The sonographer or radiologist then presses the transducer against the skin and sweeps it back and forth over the area of interest. The transducer is a small hand-held device that resembles a microphone, attached to an ultrasound machine by a cord. Obstetric exams are normally performed transabdominally. If circumstances dictate, a transvaginal approach may be used.
After the exam, the gel is wiped off and you may resume normal activities.
Ultrasounds typically take 30 to 60 minutes depending on the exam performed.
When can I expect the results?
A radiologist will review the images and send a report to your referring physician within one business day. Your doctor will review the report and contact you with the results.
If you have any questions or concerns about your procedure, please call us at 515-226-9810 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help.